…for Al Pacino‘s big third-act crescendo speech in Scent of a Woman (’92), which won him a Best Actor Oscar. And especially for the author of that speech, the recently departed Bo Goldman.

Martin Brest‘s hefty-grossing, odd-couple, May-December relationship drama opened 30 and 3/4 years ago. It feels like yesterday.

I realize that during the ’90s Pacino’s acting style became more and more florid and bombastic, arguably reaching its apogee with another big crescendo speech in The Devil’s Advocate (’97). And I’m aware that soon after Scent‘s theatrical run “hoo-hah!” became as much of a Pacino signature as “you dirty rat!” was for James Cagney. I’m not 100% certain that Goldman didn’t write “hoo-hah!”, but I think it was a Pacino improv.

In late ’92 I wrote an L.A. Times piece about the somewhat controversial 156-minute length of Scent of a Woman. It was published on 1.3.93. The title was “LENGTH OF A ‘WOMAN’ — Minutes, Schminutes…Does It Play?

Here’s most of the article: